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Dumfries and Galloway’s wedding industry says there is “faith and hope” following Nicola Sturgeon’s coronavirus schedule announcement

A leading figure in the area’s wedding industry says there is “faith and hope” following the announcement of Scotland’s exit from the lockdown.

First Minister Nicola Sturgeon this week announced her intention to relax a number of restrictions on April 26th as shops, pubs and restaurants are allowed to open.

On this day, the number of people allowed at weddings increases from five to 50, although alcohol is not allowed at receptions.

Duncan McConchie, co-founder of the Scottish Wedding Industry Alliance, described the previous announcement in February as a “disaster” for the industry.

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However, the manager of Laggan, near Gatehouse, said, “The difference from three weeks ago is that there is faith and hope. The message is that social distancing may no longer be required by the end of June or early July and we can get close to normal again. “

He added, “We asked for 50 guests and we have 50 guests, but as always, the devil is in the details.

“It’s 50 without alcohol, so basically we’re going to become the police – what is going to happen is people going to their cars or to their hotel rooms (for a drink) so we actually have less control.

“We have couples who held 20 guests with alcohol.

“We were contacted by 15 couples who wanted to discuss weddings. So we have to see what happens, but we have weddings in April, May and June.”

All travel restrictions within Scotland will be lifted on April 26th, although there is still uncertainty about travel to and from England.

This is also the date for the reopening of vacation rentals as well as pubs and restaurants.

However, a maximum of four people from two households will sit at one table.

And alcohol may only be served outside until 10 p.m. and inside on May 17th at the earliest.

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Mr McConchie said, “The trouble is that they still have not proven that there is a link between hospitality drinking and the transmission of the virus and it is really disappointing that we are being punished.

“We’re looking forward to May 17th, though, and with the better weather and nights, people may be more willing to drink outdoors.”

Tuesday’s announcement was also greeted by Chris Walker, who runs the Selkirk Arms Hotel in Kirkcudbright.

He said, “It’s great news that we now have a roadmap with dates that we can all work on.

Chris Walker of The Selkirk Arms in Kirkcudbright.

“Self-catering, cafes and shops can reopen from April 26th, although there is still confusion about cross-border travel.

“Pubs and licensed hotels have to decide whether to open with such restrictive restrictions on alcohol and a maximum of four people at a table.

“Many may wait until May and everyone will hope there will be more financial support, but at least they now know that the vacation program will be in effect until September.

“Overall we are positive, we are well on the way to getting back to normal by June and are getting ready to give all visitors our usual warm welcome in the region.”

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